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WINTER is a tough period for EV (Electric Vehicle) owners, do your vehicle tyres get enough traction as you drive, is your battery functioning at full capacity etc.?

There are several ways to prepare and maintain your EV during this period. In this article, we will look at techniques you can apply to keep your EV in top condition. We will also analyse why cold weather is a challenge for your EV.

Why is cold weather a challenge for EV owners?

One of the main challenges is the battery! EVs use lithium-ion batteries which are easily affected by extreme weather changes. On average, the standard temperature for these batteries is between 15-to-35 degrees Celsius. When it’s extremely cold, this battery will not provide as much power as it should.

In winter, EVs perform at about 20-30% below the usual. This is due to reduced battery performance, and increased energy consumption. During this period, the lithium-ion batteries produce less current, resulting in the car needing to use more energy to power the engine. If the battery is not at full energy levels, it will drain out if left out in
cold temperatures.

Another common challenge to be on the lookout for is braking. EVs utilise regenerative braking which is not as effective in winter. Regenerative power allows your car’s battery to get back some of its energy as it decelerates. This does not happen during extreme cold weather as your car is utilising less battery power.

We recommend that with the help of a trusted technician, you find out how cold weather will impact your EV. With this information in mind, you can sufficiently plan for winter and winterise your car to serve you efficiently during the period.
There are several ways you can prepare and maintain your Electric vehicle for this period.

Best tips for maintaining Your EV in cold weather

1. Park in a garage

Winter weather and EV batteries are not ‘good friends’. As such, parking your vehicle somewhere
indoors such as a garage is highly recommended. The garage does not have to be heated, it just has to be
enough to protect it from direct cold temperatures.

In an enclosed area, your battery will keep a hold of its charge better. In turn, it will not affect starting your EV in the morning.

2. Keep charging your battery

You may be asking yourself why? Why would you keep your battery plugged in when you are not using it? There are two main reasons for doing this. By keeping your battery plugged in, you maintain its optimal operating temperature. Second,
by charging your battery constantly, you sustain its energy and heat levels. Although this may seem counter-intuitive, it prolongs your battery life and reduces its strain, especially in the morning.

3. Keep the inside of your EV warm

Have you sat on a cold car seat in the morning? Getting into a cold car on a cold winter morning is disappointing. And, for good reason! Your vehicle should act as an escape from the cold that is outside.

Additionally, a cold car is harmful to your battery. It forces it to use more energy as it warms the cabin
and starts the car. In tip (2) above, keeping the battery plugged in warms the cabin. In turn, this helps
warm the inside of the EV.

In winter, you help your battery by not using it on unnecessary tasks. We also recommend having seat
heaters. They help reduce the amount of energy spent by the battery thus increasing its capacity.

4. Reconditioning

Reconditioning is a service offered in select auto garages. In simple terms, this is servicing your battery. As your vehicle needs service after several miles, so too does your EV battery. After use for a period, it loses its efficiency which affects its power and energy output. Reconditioning (Hybrid battery conditioning) is a way to restore your battery’s performance by up to 95%.

As you winterise, you should plan for this. Batteries work a little bit harder during winter than any other period, as such, you need to prepare yours.

5. Keeping track of your battery’s health

We all keep track of our health. It is important as we get to know areas of concern, what we can improve on, and what we are performing well at. This should also apply with your EV. Regular service and maintenance are highly recommended and advised.

Especially as you prepare for winter, knowing the health of your EV, its battery, and other parts will prove
beneficial in the long run. It will also prolong the life of your car. And keep it functioning at a high level
for a long time.

An example of a record to take note of is the health of your battery cells. With this information in mind,
you can make informed decisions on how to maximize their performance. Any negative performance
from a battery cell affects the overall output of the whole.

6. Regular Maintenance

EV maintenance should be a scheduled and regular operation. Not just during winter or before long
journeys. Although this too should happen. Maintenance makes sure you look at all vehicle systems including oil change, tires, wipers, etc. You should pay extra attention to all systems that could come in handy during winter. These can be tire
pressure, wheel alignment, type of tires, etc.

Having good EV maintenance will enable you to go through winter with ease. While winter is beautiful, it’s also a challenging time for EVs and their owners. Cold weather harms a car’s battery as it drains quicker and requires it to use a lot of energy. Because of this, it is important to prepare your EV for this period, invest in a safe space, chargers to keep your battery at optimum temperature, and regular car maintenance.

Simply put, winterise your EV!

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